June 19, 2024
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Seeking the Opportunities in Our Situations

“When one door closes, another opens.” This message is implied by a thought provoking statement of our Sages (Tractate Megilla 13b), “The Holy One, Blessed is He, does not strike the Jewish people without first preparing for them a remedy.”

The Almighty does not simply strike us without reason. A “wound” or crisis is often Divine guidance to change something in our lives and find the preordained remedy. For example, we only discover that we can hop on one leg when we hurt our other leg and must rethink how we walk. Even after our leg heals, we are still able to implement our newfound ability of hopping on one leg. Thus, when one door closes, and we must recalculate our route, we suddenly discover the many open doors around us that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Many of us have recently found ourselves rethinking our daily or weekly routines. It seems like everything has changed—our jobs, family life, social interactions, and even the way we buy food from a supermarket! It might even seem like many doors have closed. It is therefore a necessity to seek out the opening doors. And with only a small bit of effort, we can uncover many open doors and new opportunities.

Developing Relationships

Three months ago, different family members might have all been tied to different schedules, which can at times be unpleasant. Thus, the door to freedom might temporarily be closed. On the other hand, because of the “extra” time together, the doors to repairing and deepening one’s relationships with other family members have swung wide open. We finally have the time to talk and to listen. The necessity to finally discuss the habits that bother us with our household members might actually help us to solve those issues once and for all, and live together in greater shalom bayit moving forward. The Almighty might be trying to tell us: “I am orchestrating the world in such a way that you can finally spend quality and quantity time with each other with no distractions. Please make the most of My gifts instead of complaining about them.”

Continuing to Grow

A second closing door is our ability to attend lectures at schools, synagogues and other local study groups. But while this door might be temporarily closed, a plethora of new doors have opened all over the world. Never before have people been so motivated to take advantage of the many studying opportunities found on the internet. Never before have people been so willing to pick up the phone and study Torah together with anyone around the world. Although we might seem distant from those who normally seem close, we are ironically now much closer to those who normally seem distant. The reality of connecting to someone who is physically far in a meaningful way has now become commonplace.

For example: have you ever considered having an online chavruta with someone across the world? There is an abundance of Torah to be learned—Tanach, Halacha, Mishneh Torah, Mussar —and there are even many teachers to individually teach us at our own pace! We just have to initiate.

The prophet Isaiah (2:2) foresees that there will be a time when “from Zion will come forth Torah, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” The Torah education that has come forth from teachers in Israel to the whole world in the past few weeks has been greater than ever. The Almighty might again be signaling to all of us, “I am simply helping you see an opportunity that has always existed.”

May it be His will that, as some doors close, we always see the many opening doors, and make sure to run through them before they close. Shabbat Shalom.


Dovid Berger is a fifth-year student at Yeshivat Hakotel. In addition to teaching younger students individually and giving shiurim, Dovid also gives private online lessons in both Modern Hebrew and various Torah topics. He can be contacted at  [email protected].

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